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Dear HCCUA Members:

Multiple studies have shown that being a pet owner can dramatically help improve your health.  After all, pets can provide us with many therapeutic benefits.

First, research shows that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression compared to those without pets. Second, people with pets show signs of lower blood pressure in stressful situations. Next, playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine that work to calm and relax the brain. Fourth, pet owners have lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels than those without pets. Fifth, pets aid development in children, especially emotionally. Sixth, pet owners over the age of 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors. Finally, pets can increase your daily exercise creating the need for frequent walks or jogs.

A pet can be the perfect tool to help teach children responsibility, compassion, and empathy. Playing with a pet can be a doorway to learning for a child and provide immense joy. Pets stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. Studies also show that children who grow up with pets have a lower risk of allergies and asthma. Pets also help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive children. This holds true even more so for children with learning difficulties or autism. They are able to interact with pets better than with people, because they rely on nonverbal cues to communicate, just as pets do.

Owning a pet not for you?  You don’t have to go out and buy a dog or cat to enjoy the benefits listed above!  You can also volunteer at a local animal shelter or even watch animals in an aquarium.

It is important that you select the right kind of pet for you and your lifestyle. You will benefit most from having a pet whose needs are compatible with you and your capabilities.  Always take the following into consideration before selecting a pet: your home environment, time commitment, presence of small children or the elderly, other animals in the household (if any), and activity levels throughout the day.

For many, the love for animals is a part of your daily life. Have you ever thought of converting your passion into a business? As part of the May e-newsletter you will find an article on Animal Lovers Wanted! Giving you an insight how to get started on owning your own business spending time with animals.

If you already own a pet, don’t forget to ask your local veterinarian if they take Pet Assure or look for an office near you that does. As an HCCUA member you have numerous pet care savings like 25% off all Vet services received in-network and 10%-30% on pet supplies from thousands of participating merchants. You are also able to enroll your furry friend(s) in 24/7 Pet Assistance Locator Service for free. This recovery service has reunited thousands of lost pets with their families.

Sincerely,
Kristine Eckardt, Director of Member Communications,
HCCUA

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